ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Venus, 15th century artwork. Engraving of Venus on a chariot. Venus was the goddess of love and beauty in Roman times and is shown here with her son Cupid (left). In Roman mythology, those who were struck by Cupid's arrow immediately fell in love. The conjunction (alignment) of Venus with other planets and star constellations in the sky is considered to be significant in astrology, the ancient belief that the celestial bodies influence human lives. The symbols on the chariot's wheels are the zodiac signs Taurus and Libra, for which Venus is the ruling planet. This artwork is from Poeticon Astronomicon (Poetic Astronomy), a star atlas by Hyginus that was published in 1482.
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